NEW YORK – Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and marketing services firms, announced the opening of an owned office in Bogotá, Colombia, to further expand its presence in Latin America and meet growing demand from domestic and multinational companies in the region. Paula Restrepo has been named managing director and will lead operations there. Weber Shandwick’s expansive network across Latin America, with over 200 communications professionals, now includes owned offices in Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, with affiliates in Argentina, Chile and Peru. The Bogotá office also builds on a long-standing relationship between Weber Shandwick and the Republic of Colombia.
“In 1985, Virgilio Barco visited our offices in New York. He went on to be elected President, and we started what would become a special bond between our company and Colombia,” said Weber Shandwick Chairman Jack Leslie. “For decades, we have taken great pride and care in advising institutions and leaders in Colombia and we are thrilled to now have an owned office in the country to continue and expand upon our service.”
“Colombia is the third fastest growing economy in Latin America and is poised for substantial business opportunity,” complemented Laura Schoen, chair, Latin America. “Weber Shandwick will meet increasing client investment and interest in Colombia, and our presence in Bogotá anchors our capabilities even deeper in Latin America.”
Weber Shandwick’s Bogotá office opened in partnership with fellow Interpublic advertising and marketing agency, McCann, to achieve optimum collaboration and efficiency in client service.
“Weber Shandwick’s expertise in engaging audiences with ideas that earn attention and McCann’s track-record of experience in the strategic and creative field provides a strong union of forces in this changing world to deliver a unique and enhanced offer to our clients,” said Alvaro Fuentes, CEO of McCann Colombia.
As managing director, Restrepo is charged with establishing Weber Shandwick as a leading communications partner to local and multinational organisations within the region. She joins from an influencer marketing technology firm, where she was acting COO. A trained industrial engineer and digital media pioneer in Colombia, Restrepo has over a decade of experience in business strategy, communications and marketing campaign development with experience in the development of digital strategies. Previously, Restrepo was a senior vice president at Edelman, which acquired a local PR company she helped build from the ground up. Restrepo has also held in-house marketing and communications roles for various companies, including a retailer unit from Organizacion Corona. Her work with top domestic and international brands in Colombia adds considerable value and rigour to Weber Shandwick’s Bogotá operations.
“We are thrilled to have Paula Restrepo leading our Bogotá office,” Schoen said. “Her experience on both the agency and brand sides, coupled with her deep understanding of the Colombian market, make her the perfect choice to lead and grow this office, and deliver for our clients in the region.”
“There is new energy in Colombia and Bogotá is an increasingly sought-after entrance point for both emerging and mature brands to expand into Latin America,” Restrepo said. “At the same time, organisations are navigating new challenges in terms of how customers behave and engage with brands. Our mission in Bogota is to be a strategic partner to organisations as we work together to address their greatest communications and marketing needs. I am confident that by leveraging Weber Shandwick’s expansive global network of experts and simultaneously growing our local team of strategists, content creators, integrated media experts and communications professionals, we will set new standards for communications in this market.”